Art By Shalley

Using Art to Heal

Art by Shalley

My paintings are a projective experience much like clinical psychology's Rorscharh test. I paint a backgroud of an undefined and ambiguous scene. I then paint the images that I see emerging from this undefined space. As I interact with the images, painting them, amplifying them, dialoging with them, listening to their personal and archetypal meanings, I reveal unconscious forces at work in my own mind. Since the mind has a tendency "to structure ambiguous scenes into personally meaningful images that symbolize underling motives and emotions" (Walsh, Shamanism, p. 202), my paintings are a kind of witness that speak to my life condition, a kind of shamanic journey for healing and insight.
Over time my paintings have evolved to include images met in dreams, during meditation and in shamanic journeys.I hold my paintings to be both projections of my own inner world as well as expressions of my contact with spirit beings in the greater areas of non-ordinary reality. They appear in my paintings as a way for me to honor, interact with and integrate these unconscious parts of me into consciousness as well as an opportunity to build relationships with them in a greater sense as spirit beings in non-ordinary reality.

As you view my paintings I invite you to let them speak to you out of your own unconscious. To browse my paintings, click on Gallery.

In a recent shamanic training, we journeyed to the 5th world to retrieve 3 spirit guides or soul friends that could be of help to us at this time in our lives.

Mine showed up as crystalline-like figures--one in the form of a walking stick with a snake wrapped around it, another was a crystalline wand and the third the orb from a dream I had a long time ago as my soul's next manifestation. As I worked with these images, asking what gifts of help they had for me, a woman appears with the orb in her hands and places it in my heart. She says "the time is now." The crystalline wand revealed itself as a man standing behind the woman as a support and guide for the soul's next manifestation. The owls and the black panther showed up in a journey over 16 years ago and have remained with me as power animals and guides in the shamanic sense. This is my painting of that journey. I call it "The Time is Now."

"The Luminous Warrior"

Here are a couple of paintings honoring the horse, the spirit of the horse and horse medicine.

"Running with the Wind: Spirit of the White Horse"

"Painted Ponies"

"Feminine Wisdom and Feminine Power: Healing the World"
A painting to honor the power of the feminine to heal the world.

The courage, wisdom and clear sight of the hawk
 and the strength, confidence and loyalty of the wolf.

Remembering the Grandmothers: Their Wisdom and their Power.


What follows are a series of painting I did to honor the chakras. Chakras are spinning energy centers in the Luminous Energy Body that receive and transmit subtle energies believed necessary for physical and emotional health.

Ancient Wisdom and the Call of the Wild

According to some traditions, the 11th chakra contains the programming of the soul and governs our ability to transcend time and space and to re-remember the goals we came into this life to achieve.  In some traditions the color bronze is associated with the 11th chakra. I then used the colors associated to the other upper chakras 9 and 10 to paint the “undefined background.”

As I stared into the background of this painting I saw a pair of lions. As I studied and researched lions I came across the “white lion” and felt an immediate resonance. According to the African shamans, White lions are agents of light, Lions of God and are here on earth as a beacon to guide us to reclaim that light within us. (Mystery of the White Lion by Linda Tucker.)

Putting these ideas (1) “the ability to transcend time and space and to re-remember the goals we came into this life to achieve” with (2) lions as an agent of light to guide us to reclaim that light within us with (3) the Q’ero belief that we are Luminous Beings and “homo luminous” is emerging as we reclaim and re-remember the Light that we, i.e., ancient wisdom captures the meaning of this painting for me. The goal of my life in this lifetime. I call it Ancient Wisdom and the Spirit of the Wild.

                                             New Beginnings from an Ancient Path

This is my painting to honor the 10th chakra. I chose the color gold as the background because in some traditions, the color of the 10th chakra is gold. I then made my background of undefined space from the colors of the other upper chakras. In some traditions the 10th chakra is called the Solar chakra and governs our ability to live our dreams and helps us focus our will to remove blockages and give our existence purpose. In other traditions the 10th chakra is called the Universal Chakra and gives us access to the universal flow of creation.

I  journeyed to the 10th chakra and was quite surprised to find a stork there. In my second journey I saw a collage of the Green Man, owl, jaguar and of Pan.The images in this painting seem to connect to both ideas on the 10th chakra. One on hand the owl and the stork connect with the air and flight and suggest connection with the upper realms allowing me “access to travel within the higher realms of spirit” while the black panther, the Green Man and Pan connect with the earth, meadows and woodlands, “ensuring my connection to the Earth”. However, Pan’s flute also sends out energies across the airways via sound waves. So both the 10th charka as the “solar Chakra” and as the Universal Chakra as well as an Earth chakra all seem to be represented in this painting. According to the traditions this connects me to the ability to live the dreams of my soul’s path.

"Dancing with Pan"

"Dancing with Pan" is my painting honoring the 9th chakra. The 9th chakra is said to be the "seat of the soul." It allows you to access your soul's code and is seen as the door to archetypal energies or patterns that play an important role in shaping our lives. Its color is blue-green. I chose the colors of chakras 10, 11 and 12, pearl white, pink-orange and gold as colors for the overlay background of undefined space for images to appear.

"Angel of Healing"

"Angel of Healing" is my painting to honor the 8th chakra. The 8th chakra is located above the crown of the head and functions as the energy epicenter of the entire chakra system. The purpose of this chakra is to protect the physical, emotional and spiritual body and serves as the root of all the divine energy and compassion that course through the system.

Moon Rising: The Return of the Goddess and the Bull Archetype"

"Moon Rising: The Return of the Goddess and the Bull Archetype" is my painting honoring the first chakra. The color of the first chakra is red. This chakra is associated with the Earth element and our sense of being grounded. Its mental and emotional issues are group safety and security, our ability to stand up for ourselves and to provide for life's necessities and get our basic needs met.

Goddess Rising

This painting, "Goddess Rising," is from my personal work with the Goddess energies and represents the healing energies of the Divine Feminine that is available to us. It is my tribute to the second chakra. The color of the second chakra is orange. It is associated with power, money, sex, fear, fighting, passion and creativity.

"The Hare and the Owl"

This painting is my tribute to the third chakra. Its color is yellow. Its element is fire. It is associated with self-esteem, self-confidence and self-respect, courage, personal power and fulfillment of dreams.

"Secrets of the Unseen"

This painting is my tribute to the 4th chakra. Its color is green. Its element is air. Its mental and emotional issues are related to love and hatred, hope and trust, forgiveness and compassion, intimacy, grief and anger, loneliness and commitment.

"Return of the Jaguar"

The "Return of the Jaguar" is my tribute to the 5th chakra. The 5th chakra is associated with the throat and our capacity for personal expression, following one's dreams, choice and strength of will, finding one's voice, faith and will. Its color is blue.

"The Visionary"

"The Visionary" is my tribute to the 6th chakra. The color of this chakra is indigo. It is associated to the "third eye" and has to do with reason and logic, intellectual abilities, truth, self-evaluation, openness to ideas, empathy, depression and stress-related disorders, enlightenment and self-realization.

"The Opening"
This painting, "The Opening" honors the 7th chakra. Its color is violet. The 7th chakra is connected to our ability to trust life, to selflessness, the ability to see the larger picture. Its element is pure energy and connects us to the transcendent and spiritual illumination.

This painting, "The Guardian" was painted in response to a shamanic journey I took in which I meet a Cougar.

This painting, "Medicine Man," was inspired by a dream where I met a man who told me he was a "healer." On a shamanic journey I met a little boy who needed healing. I combined the two dreams into this painting.

This painting, "Hawk Medicine" was painted in response to a meditation in which I meet Hawk

This painting, "Quetzalcoatl," was inspired by a shamanic journey.
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